Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scientists identify mechanism behind mind-body connection

Science has found a solid mind-body connection after all! I can't say I'm surprised they found the connection, but what took them so long?!

However, there is both good news and bad news.

Good news: they found a mind-body connection!

Bad news: they want to develop a drug to mask the effect of the stress hormone cortosol instead of reducing stress! You can be totally stressed out but not be affected by it - but wait until you see the list of side-effects (which might be revealed a year or two after you start taking it) from the drug they develop!

Doesn't that sound just yummy?

Well, read on. . . . .news story reprinted from PHYSORG.COM

(Immune cells (stained blue) end in protective caps called telomeres (stained yellow) that are shorter in the elderly -- and in persons suffering chronic stress. A new UCLA study suggests cortisol is the culprit behind premature aging of the immune system in stressed-out people. Credit: UCLA/Effros lab)

Every cell contains a tiny clock called a telomere, which shortens each time the cell divides. Short telomeres are linked to a range of human diseases, including HIV, osteoporosis, heart disease and aging. Previous studies show that an enzyme within the cell, called telomerase, keeps immune cells young by preserving their telomere length and ability to continue dividing.

UCLA scientists found that the stress hormone cortisol suppresses immune cells' ability to activate their telomerase. This may explain why the cells of persons under chronic stress have shorter telomeres.

The study reveals how stress makes people more susceptible to illness. The findings also suggest a potential drug target for preventing damage to the immune systems of persons who are under long-term stress, such as caregivers to chronically ill family members, as well as astronauts, soldiers, air traffic controllers and people who drive long daily commutes.

"When the body is under stress, it boosts production of cortisol to support a "fight or flight" response," explains Rita Effros, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and a member of the Jonsson Cancer Center, Molecular Biology Institute and UCLA AIDS Institute.

"If the hormone remains elevated in the bloodstream for long periods of time, though, it wears down the immune system. We are testing therapeutic ways of enhancing telomerase levels to help the immune system ward off cortisol's effect. If we're successful, one day a pill may exist to strengthen the immune system's ability to weather chronic emotional stress."

The research was published in the May issue of the peer-reviewed journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

Source: University of California - Los Angeles


Michelle here. . .

Folks, according to StateHealthFacts.org The average person in the US between the ages of 19 and 64 take 10.7 drugs already. No wonder the immune system is shot. The drugs may be causing more stress than the stress!

This "potential drug target for preventing damage to the immune systems of persons who are under long-term stress" goes right back to a recent post here (10 things doctors must do to truly earn the respect they crave) about doctors perpetuating a ' "Disease Industry" -- designed not to eliminate disease, but to perpetuate the management of symptoms' through the increasing use of pharmaceuticals; they don't treat patients any more, they push high-priced, often unnecessary drugs.

Do you really want them to give you another drug? Isn't 10.7 enough for you?

If you're not careful, you'll start to resemble the not-so-handsome fellow below!

I really don't understand the mentality behind these choices when there are so many great alternatives to reduce stress!

If you truly want to be stress free, send an email to me at stressrelief4me@gmail.com and we will work together to find the best holistic practices that will help you toward true Wellness, not another drug!

1 comment:

Geraldine said...

Yikes, more scary statistics re: drugs, why am I not surprised. I am so happy to say, 'we are a drug-free family' when the need arises to explain our thoughts, beliefs on wellness etc...Always gets a raised eyebrow and more and more a 'good for you' which is encouraging.

Thought provoking post, as usual, thanks M!